Dundee distillery cheers prestigious contract to supply House of Commons

A distillery that says it is the first in Dundee for almost 200 years has beaten rival firms to be awarded a prestigious contract by the House of Commons.

From left: Scott McCallum and Andrew Mackenzie. Picture: contributed.

Verdant Spirits – which is stocked in premium sites such as Harvey Nichols, The Kitchin and Montpeliers in Edinburgh – said it hopes the deal will elevate its brand and help it encourage further investment and partnership.

The firm has secured the deal to be the sole supplier of a House of Commons Gin with a special edition of its award-winning spirit.

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Verdant Spirits will provide its gin and also deliver expert training and tastings for the House of Commons team and members.

It fought off a shortlist of five rivals comprising UK national brands including incumbent House of Commons supplier Sipsmith.

This marks the second time the contract has been awarded since Sipsmith was chosen to serve back in 2016.

Verdant stated that it won the tender after scoring top marks in the blind taste test and “wowing” judges with its presentation at the Houses of Parliament.

Its proposal, developed in collaboration with Dundee design agency Avian, put forward what it describes as a new visual treatment and bespoke packaging concept marrying the Verdant Spirits and House of Commons branding.

Verdant founder and managing director Andrew Mackenzie said: “We hope that this exciting new development signals a significant opportunity for the Verdant Spirits brand to be elevated to the next level, and also highlights and encourages the further investment and partnership we are currently seeking.”

He continued: “We spent two years researching and finessing the perfect dry gin and we firmly believe in our product, but it still felt fantastic to win out in the taste test. To really show our commitment to the process, we didn’t want to simply add a logo or brand to the bottle, we wanted to create a truly co-branded product.”

Scott McCallum, managing director of Avian, said: “By creating an entirely new label and specialised packaging solely for the House of Commons, we retained the integrity of both the Verdant Spirits brand and the historic House of Commons identity, whilst also creating shelf appeal.”

Verdant Dry Gin is distilled in small batches in a 500-litre pot still, and is based in a former engine house of one of Dundee’s old mills that the business says housed some of the most cutting-edge machinery of its day.